Digital Equity

Running head: Digital Age Grand Canyon University: With the increase of internet usage and the use of the digital technology consumers have impacted the way we look at health services and the health care delivery system. Because consumers are seeking health information online it makes use reevaluate the way we think of the medical information we receive from our primary care provider and the relationship between that provider and his patients. Many consumers seek information for themselves, for friends and family.
Consumers seek health information via the web, phone, fax, email system, discussion boards, social networks, forums, and bulletin boards. The anticipated shifts in service are secondary to the lack of education, literacy skills, and mistrust of providers, poverty, and the lack of health coverage. “Consumers across all categories of age, education, income, race, ethnicity and health status increased their information seeking significantly, but education level remained the key factor in explaining how likely people are to seek health information” (Tu, Cohen, 2008).
A second reason for a change in service utilization is the high cost of medical treatment and the insurance premiums that patients must pay. With the increase of financial responsibility patients have an increase motivation to obtain health information and weigh in on their options for treatment and payment. By using the internet consumers have a valuable tool that empowers them, reduces social isolation, and helps consumers identify medical issues. One of the most critical ways in which the power of information can influence consumers is by finding ways to support the consumer emotionally.

The District of Columbia and their federal government has released a new regional health information organization (RHIO) designed to improve the way health care is delivered. By encouraging the use of the Health information technology (HIT) they are improving care. The mission for the District of Columbia Primary Care Association (DCPCA) is to promote health care reform. The DCPCA accomplishes its mission by promoting the health equity of the poor, uninsured, and the underserved residents of the community. Through the mplementation of health reform the District of Columbia has worked to improve health care services through patient shared records, and clinical outcomes across the organization. “In 2009 health care reform asked us to do three things: (1) Improve the health of the population at large; (2) enhance the patient experience; and (3) reduce the per capita cost of care” (Baskerville ,S, 2011). With the recent improvement and emerging trends of advanced digital technology our older patients have the ability to research health information via the internet and web based technology.
The web itself has changed the way our elderly population views diseases and conditions secondary to the way the information is displayed. By increasing what we view and how we view it, we as consumers turn to three major websites to seek medical information, Medline Plus, Health Finder, CAPHIS. Patients seek trust worthy health information for solutions and providing them with additional data in which to ask their medical provider. Medical websites are designed to enhance the ability of the disabled and the elderly through communication, social emotional support, and enhancing the patient provider relationship.
The similarities of community health information network (CHIN) and health information network (HIN) is that they concentrate on helping services for a single community, while (RHIN) regional health information network concentrates on the social community. CHIN looks to improve efficiency, reduce care cost and enhance health care delivery. RHIN is considered a multi-stake holder organization. RHINO consist of hospitals, employers and payers, and small clinics. RHINO’s purpose is to encourage the adoption of health information technology.
RHINOS’s main objective in the health administration is to improve quality of delivery patient care, network health information, patient customer service and reduce delivery care cost. References McGarth, N. (2010). Under pressure: The changing role of healthcare CIO. Retrieved from http://www. necelevateperformance. com/pdf/Healthcare/EIU_NEC_Whitepaper. pdf Tan, J. (2010). Adaptive health management info system. (3rd ed. ). Sudbury MA: Jones and Bartlett. Baskerville, S. (2011). Status of Health Care Reform Implementation in the District of Columbia. Retrieved May 13, 2012 from online article source:

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